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Nature News
by Marlene Harris

May 2000   —   CITES Meeting Notes

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meetings were held in Nairobi. One of the major issues addressed was the situation regarding the tiger in India. The U.N. Convention has been concerned for many years that tigers are not being adequately protected in India. This year’s meeting saw the creation of a law–enforcement task force, whose role will be to control poaching. Members of CITES have approved the enforcement of sanctions against India if the tiger situation does not improve within the next two years.

In other news, a recommendation to resume commercial whaling was thankfully, defeated. The biggest supporters of whaling were, as usual, Norway and Japan, but more disturbing were the actual numbers of those who voted for a resumption versus those who were opposed. Fifty–three delegates were in favor, while fifty–two were opposed. If proposals were based on a fifty–one percent support base, we would now be looking at a resumption of commercial whaling. Fortunately, there must be a support of two–thirds in order for a proposal to pass. Still, it is alarming to think that over one half of the delegates are now in favor of resuming whaling.

U.N. CITES Meetings are held every two years.

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